I wrote Radical Brewing in 2002, when the notion of bending style rules or adding things like mushrooms to beer were both pretty extreme notions. Since then a lot more creativity has hacked its way into brewing, thanks to many adventurous homebrewers and pioneering pros like Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head as well as more recent breweries like Perennial, Shorts, Jolly Pumpkin and many others. It's great to see the acceptance and availability of styles like gose and grätzer/grodziske (I first brewed those styles for a Michael Jackson event in 1996) that I've been championing for a long time. How sweet it is for us all to have so many choices out there.

My intention with Radical is to reinforce the notion that beer is art by demonstrating that style rules can be broken without fear of being struck with lightning by the Reinheitsgebot gods, and that we can and should use every tool in our culinary arsenal as long as it makes for a delicious beer. To back that up, I researched and collected a wide range of historical beers and brewing traditions that upend the notion that beer is a very narrow and pure product and thereby help readers and brewers broaden their ideas of what constitutes beer.

The most frequent comments I get about Radical are variations on "I've been brewing for a while, and found myself in a rut, brewing the same old pale ale over and over. Your book got me excited about brewing again and suddenly my head was full of ideas for beers I couldn't wait to brew."

There are enough brewing fundamentals in the book to get a novice brewer started down the right path, but it really is a book about using creative ingredients and ideas and expressing your own personality through the medium of beer. 


This book presents a thought-provoking celebration of 12,000 years of the art of brewing. With over 90 complete recipes and an abundance of useful information for the novice as well as the grizzled veteran, Radical Brewing puts you in touch with some of brewing's most exotic—and delicious—brews.

After a concise introduction to beer and how to brew, Radical Brewing gets right into the secrets for the great session ales, lagers and easy-to-brew Belgian beers. It then moves on to the next level: strong beers, adjunct beers, fruits, spices, smoked beer and more. The more challenging Belgian styles are next, followed by a tour through the vast repertoire of beer through the ages as well as an introduction to mead and honey beers. Chapters on group brews and activities, equipment, and the art of enjoying beer and food complete the text. 

Lavishly illustrated and filled with fascinating tidbits of brewing lore, this is a brewing book unlike any other. From the arcane to the exuberant, the ancient to the futuristic, Radical Brewing encompasses the passion and vitality that makes the contemporary American brewing scene the envy of the world.


Ray Daniels, Founder, Cicerone Certification Program and author of Designing Great Beers and several other books:

"I agree with Michael Jackson's assessment that Randy Mosher is a homebrewing genius. I've known Randy for 15 years and learned more from him than any other brewer I know. Now he has put a big chunk of that knowledge into a book that wanders through the history of beer challenging our assumptions about what beer is and how we should go about brewing it. What a fun book! How it makes me want to run into the brewery and start creating new beers. What a genius!"

Bob Townsend, Atlanta Constitution-Journal:

"A radical passion for brews that honor spirit of the craft

The book is ostensibly a how-to manual for expanding the horizons of home-brewing. But because Mosher covers so much history and lore, and presents so many different styles and recipes in such an irreverent and imaginative way, the book is a thoroughly enjoyable read for just about anyone who wants to learn more about beer."

John Foyston, The Oregonian:

"Radical Brewing is written for the home brewer but can be unhesitatingly recommended to anyone who wants to better understand the art and passion of brewing.

Veteran beer writer Randy Mosher previously wrote The Brewer's Companion, and he begins his new book with 10 suggestions that hint at the fervor with which he approaches his subject: "Brew as if beer is a gift from a benevolent universe: Because it is. Brew as if it's a magic spell: Incant the names: barley, hops, water, yeast, fire...

"Brew like a good shepherd, with billions of tiny creatures at your mercy. Brew as an act of benevolence. . . Brew like an artist, with your senses and whims. . . Brew with balance. . . Brew with simplicity. . . Brew with reckless abandon. . . Brew with meaning. . . Brew beer with all this in mind, and the world will remain an amazing place."

Which is not to say that Mosher gets all serious on us: He has great fun with beer and its 12,000-year-old history, as "An Embellished History of Beer" and its accompanying timeline plainly shows.

"1350-1450: Hops replace other herbs, weakening the church's grip on beer revenue and eventually allowing free-willed scalawags like Martin Luther to vandalize church doors, inexplicably opening the floodgates of the Renaissance."

Mosher is an exuberant guide. Clearly, this is a man for whom brewing has never been a chore and he passes that on over the course of 22 chapters that even the best brewers will likely find informative and fun.

And that's why this is also a great book for people like me, who love good beer but will never attempt to brew a batch.

Understand the effects of different ingredients and techniques on the beers you might make, and you'll better understand and savor the beer you drink. And judging from Radical Brewing, there are few more knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides to the arcana of brewing than Mosher."

K. Florian Kemp, All About Beer:

"Reknowned homebrewer Randy Mosher, a name familiar to anyone who regularly reads brewing and beer publications, could be described as unconventional, but to leave it at that would be a gross understatement. Technically, he is on a par with anyone who has ever fired up a burner. Mosher's real, and unique, contribution to the skill is his cunning manner of pushing the envelope. By combining his insight with a true reverence for beer, Mosher sits on a lofty perch that is shared by few other homebrewing experts. The fruits of his lust are compiled in his new book, Radical Brewing.

The gist of his treatise is a series of cleverly written chapters that weave history, classic beer style recipe formulation, and, of course, his own wild-eyed take on the brews. Any conceivable ingredient is investigated for its contribution and implementation in a brew. Virtually any kind of classic beer style, whimsically and functionlly twisted, can be found in this book. Hardly daunting, he caters to every level of brewing proficiency with an uncountable number of recipes. Mosher's bright and jocular presentations make his text all the more enjoyable.

Radical Brewing rivals many other homebrew books for simple nuts and bolts brewing. But for sheer offbeat enjoyment, this one stands alone.

Mosher knows well the nature of the beast, and can't help tickling his belly. Far from Frankenbrewing, his chicanery is tempered by sound methodology. Surely jaggery, mint, quinoa, smoked malt, and tangerine can be used in a brew, but how? Let Yin and Yang Brew Master Mosher show you how. Radically, of course."

John Palmer, author of How To Brew:

Radical like Copernicus!

"I have a new favorite brewing book - Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher. I must admit that I was put off by the title at first. "Radical Brewing? I don't want to brew weird stuff, I want to brew good stuff..." But after I had a chance to browse thru a copy, I realized there was nothing weird about it. It is radical like Copernicus was radical. It is full of really interesting information that I had not known or barely heard of before. This is a spectrum of brewing, brews, and brewers.

How to describe it??

Broadly, it is like Designing Great Beers in that it presents the ingredients of brewing, the methods for using them and how various beer styles were developed by using those ingredients.

The difference could be described in this way though: If DGB were described as a university course in the main lecture hall on brewing, then Radical Brewing is sitting down with the Prof one-on-one, while he regales with his experiences and pours you samples as he talks. And, if you know Randy, then this description of his book is self-explanatory. It really is a book that you will pick up and read for the fun of it. There are lots of interesting recipes, and his discussion makes you want to try them. A great book to further your homebrewing education."


Foreword by Michael Jackson

Introduction: Changing the World One Glass at a Time

Chapter 1: An Embellished History of Beer

Chapter 2: What is This Thing Called Beer?
What Makes a Beer?
Body and Texture
Units of Measurement
Beer Flavor
Elements of Aroma
The Fine Art of drinking Beer

Chapter 3: An Overview of Brewing
Why Homebrew?
The Brewing Process in a Nutshell
Get on With it: Your First Radical Brew
How Not to Screw It Up
Extract + Mini Mash Brewing
Mashing Made Easy
Basic Infusion Mashing
Mashing Made Difficult

Chapter 4: Basic Ingredients
Malt, Glorious Malt
Malt Types Chart
More Hops!
Hop Variety Chart
Is it or is it Not the Water?
Godisgood: The Mystery of Yeast

Chapter 5: How to Build a Beer
It’s Art, I Tell You: Putting a Recipe Together
Cypherin’: Calculating in the Brewery
On to a Recipe
It’s All About Process
Fermenting and Conditioning
About the Recipes in This Book
Recipe Worksheet

Chapter 6: Is it Any Good?
The Basics of Critical Tasting
Your Strange Brain
A Dirty Dozen of Off-Flavors

Chapter 7: Basic Drinkers
Extraordinary Ordinaries: British Bitter
(Not So Dumb) Blondes
A Flash of Brilliance: British Summer Ale
A Sparkle in Your Ale
Kick-Ass IPAs
Brown is Beautiful
Intire Butt: Porter
Twelve Ways to Improve a Stout

Chapter 8: Lager On!
A Perfect Pilsner
Decoctions: Are They Worth the Bother?
Munich Dunkel
Almost Porter: German Schwarzbier
Alternate Bocks

Chapter 9: Belgians are Easy
Belgian Pale Ales
Brews of Beelzebub; Strong Pale Ales
Saison: Beer of Heavenly Balance
Three Times the Fun—Abbey Beers

Chapter 10: Big Honkin’ Brews
Big Things: the Demands of Big Beer
Dragon’s Milk: English October Beer
Imperial Pale Ale
English Doble-Doble
Towards a Portlike Beer

Chapter 11: Beyond Barley
Wheat and Weizen
Adjunct Grain Chart
GoseBier of Jena
A Smattering of Adjunct Recipes

Chapter 12: Hops Are Just Another Herb, Mon
Using Herbs and Spices
Herb and Spice Chart
Wassail: Twelve Beers of Christmas
And More...

Chapter 13: Tooting your Fruit
Fruits for Brewing Chart
Techniques for Brewing With Fruit
Oranges and Other Citrus
Drink Your Vegetables
Hole Chipotle, It’s Chile Beer!
Shrooms, Man!

Chapter 14: Bent Beers
Taking Liberties with Styles
Smokin: Beers, That is
Historic Smoked Beer Styles
Sugar, Sugar
Radical Techniques
Just Plain Crazy

Chapter 15: Spooky Belgium
A Perfectly White Beer
Oud Bruin: Flanders Sour Brown

Chapter 16: Rolling Your Own
Going Organic
Malting Your Own Barley
Roasting Your Own
Growing Hops

Chapter 17: Forward into the Past
Historical Weights and Measures
Very Ancient Beers
The Age of Gruit
Heather Ale of Scotland
Old Ingredients and Quantities
Finnish Sahti
Devon White Ale
Kvass and other Russian Beers
Ales & Beers of Jolly Old England
Thick Gooey Beers
Outlaw Ales of Northern Germany
The Horrors of Colonial Ales

Chapter 18: Save the Bees!
A Bit About Honey
True Mead
Bragot and Beyond

Chapter 19: Don’t Try This Alone
The Glory of Brew Clubs
Big Barrels O’ Beer
Stone Beer
Get-Togethers and Beer Tastings
You Can Take it With You

Chapter 20: Building a Buckapound Brewery
Some Generalities
Raw Materials and How to Work Them
The Buckapound Brewery

Chapter 21: Beer & Food
What Goes With That?
Cooking With Beer
Cooking With Beer Ingredients

Chapter 22: What’s Next?
So much to do
Going Pro

Web Links
Brewing Organizations
List of Recipes


Those of us lucky to know Michael were always amazed by his generous good nature. He was our hero for setting this whole craft beer thing into motion; without him things would have been very different. I can't thank him enough for this contribution:

The Marvel of Mosher

By Michael Jackson

The world desperately needs more Moshers. If only we had more Moshers, the Tasmanian tiger might return from extinction. Mike Tyson at his peak would be able to step into the ring with Muhammed Ali. We would be able to see and hear the great performers who pre-dated the recording of sound. I might even now be sipping a pre-Prohibition beer and checking whether Buddy Bolden could be heard across Lake Ponchartrain. Or I might be sampling Harwood's Porter in a London pub, or an India Pale Ale aboard a clipper heading for Calcutta.

To be truthful, I know only one Mosher. He is Randy, which in the United Kingdom, where I live, means feeling sexy. I know nothing of his private life, but there is passion in the heart of this seemingly quiet, kindly, man. His activities are probably a threat to our morals. Passion, imagination and tenacity are a challenge to the established order. So are people whose definition of progress is not acquiesence.

As a teenager, I learned this when I saw an item on television about a London pub in which the walls were lined with freizes showing merry monks. The pub was scheduled to be demolished to make way for road widening. In the tv programme, a sl;ightly crazy-looking English poet was arguing that the pub was a temple to the pleasures of drinking, and should be saved. It was. The poet's name was Betjeman. I thought at the time that we needed more Betjemen.

We don't call them that; we know them as conservationists. A pity. I prefer Betjemen. Until now, there has been no name for people who go a stage beyond conservation, and somehow bring back pleasures that have been lost.

A revivalist? Randy does more than that. He and I once presented a tasting of rare Northern European beer styles, using examples that he had brewed. One of the styles was Grodzisk, from Poland. I had tasted the last commercially-brewed Grodzisk; Randy had only read about the style. Despite this, he made a beer that tasted like the Grodzisk I had enjoyed.

A beer archaeologist? People like Randy can find old “recipes” for some of the beers that have been lost, but they are very hard to interpret. The brewer of a century ago knew what “Mr Smith's malt” tasted like, but we do not. Nor do we know that characteristics of hops that long preceded today's varieties.

A scholar? Randy's researches represent diligent scholarship, and make possible a Jurassic Park of beer styles.

So what is he? He is a Mosher.


Complete Recipes, Most with All-Grain and Extract Versions:

[Your Name Here]—Your First Radical Brew
Tire-Biter Bitter
Bambi's Best Blonde Ale
Mister Squinty Contemporary Summer Ale
Summer Ale, What-if Version, c. 1830
Wee Twinkling Winkie Scottish Sparkling Ale
Telltale Ale—American Sparkling Ale
Rye PA
IRA–India Red Ale
Belgian-American IPA
Jaggery Pale Ale
India Cream Ale
Vatted Stale IPA
Old Nut Case Brown Ale
Stout Butt Beer, 1720
1776 Porter
1850 Export Porter
Modern British 'Mild' or Brown Porter
Modern American 'Robust' Porter
Fundamental Stout + 12 variations
Polka Dot Pilsner
Monk-y Business Munich Dunkel
Doktor Schnurrbart Schwarzbier
Yellow Diamond Belgian Pale Ale
Fallen Angel Strong Pale
Saisoon Buffoon
Hoosonfurst Abbey Singel
Two Bits Abbey Dubbel
Three-Nipple Tripel
Dragon's Milk October Beer
My Old Flame Barley Wine
Running Dog Imperial Pale Ale
Ignoble Doble-Doble
Towards a Portlike Beer
Garden of Wheat'n Bavarian Weizen
Hose Your Nose Gose
Electric Aunt Jemima Maple Buckwheat Ale
Amazing Daze American Wheat Beer
Pink Menace Red Rice Pils
Dick's Elixir Wheat Porter
Pudgy McBuck's Celebrated Cocoa Porter
Chocolate Mint Stout
Christmas Ale
Twelve Beers of Christmas
4. Spiced Dunkel Weizenbock
5. Juniper Rye Bock
6. Fruitcake Old Ale
Chai Brown Ale
Black Pepper Porter
Mister Boing Boing Cherry Barley Wine
'London Ale' Adapted from John Tuck, 1822
Dark Night Tangerine Porter
Ray Spangler's Pumpkin Spice Beer
Smoked Habañero Amber Lager
Reishi Sumo Stout
Chaga Sahti
A Thousand Saints Truffle Tripel
Nirvana Chanterelle Ale
Hoppy Amber Wit
Abbey Weiss
Pilsner Wine
Wheat Wine
Grätzer, Real Version
Grätzer, Cheaters Version
Dingelheimer's Lichtenhainer
Black Ship Pirate Stout
Big Stinky & Little Stinky: a Parti-Gyle Recipe
Thomas Vista's Hop God Ale
Wit Guy White Ale
Nit-Wit Strong Wit
Claude of Zeply Amber Strong Wit
Major Blankety-Blank India Wit Ale
Wyse Foole Wit Wine
This Old Barrel Flanders Sour Brown Ale
Do It To It Gruit
Heather Ale
Devon White Ale
Kvick Kvality Kvass
Giant Ale of Cerne Abbas
Oh, Your Highness Windsor Ale
Welsh Ale, c 1800
Voyage Étrange (French Export beer, c 1800)
Sweet Lips Colonial Ale
Thomas Jefferson's Pale Ale
Pennsylvania Swankey
'Call Me Al" —The Mead of Al Kindi
Chuck's Atomic Fireball Mead
Crancrabapple Mead
'Phunny You Don't Look Phrygian' Raisin Honey Beer
Bronze Age Bragot
An English Bragot, c. 1500
Buckwheat Honey Black Beer
'A Perfect Ten' Wheaten Honeywine
Ruby You Hot Little...Schwarzbracket
Crystal Malt Old Bracket
Carinthian Steinbier

Variations or Abbreviated Recipes:

Fifty-Fifty American Pale Ale
Indian Popcorn Ale
Wild Rizen
Wild Rice ESB
Triticale Tripel
Oatmeal Cookie Ale
Springtime Herbed Ale
Twelve Beers of Christmas:
1. Caramel Quadrupel
2. Spiced Cherry Dubbel
3. Saffron Tripel
7. Christmas Gruit
8. Honey Ginger IPA
9. Crabapple Lambicky Ale
10. Gingerbread Ale
11. Spiced Bourbon Stout
12. Abbey Weizen
Headless Horseman Pumpkin Barley Wine
Holy Mole Bock
Chipotle Parched Corn Amber Ale
Toffee Ale


Although every effort was made to ensure the accuracy of Radical Brewing, inevitably a few things slip through the system.

[N: please check this list against the marked up copy of the book I have, which has all the errors we have ever found, not just the ones on this list.]

Although every effort was made to ensure the accuracy of Radical Brewing, inevitably a few things may slip through the system.

If you find something else you believe requires the author's attention, please feel free to email using the "Contact Me" link.

Page by Page:

Page 27: paragraph 8: In actual fact, yeast does consume some sugar while it's reproducing. I oversimplified to make the picture a little clearer.

Page 28: sidebar on enzymes: Glucose is actually preferred by the yeast to maltose, but is present in wort on only small quantities. So, maltose is mainly what it metabolizes.

Page 46: paragraph 3: "vines" should more technically be called "bines."

Page 49: "CFJ 90" should follow Centennial hop variety, not Cascade.

Page 63: sidebar: "HCU" should be replaced by "MCU." I was using the older term I coined, "Homebrew Color Units" before Ray Daniels changed the terminology to "Malt Color Units.

Page 69: paragraph 1: The last sentence ("You can also...:) should really follow the discussion of the horizontal keg, after "...fitting to vent it."

Page 79: Tire-Biter Bitter recipe: All-grain percentages should be 86% Maris Otter; 11% pale crystal; 3% biscuit/amber. Extract + steeped grain: 73% pale dry extract; 23% pale crystal; 4% biscuit/amber malt. Third hop addition should be at end of boil.

Page 81: Bambi's Best Blonde malt extract + steeped grain recipe should read: 5.2 lb (2.4 kg) 57% extra pale dry extract 1.5 lb (0.68 kg) 16% German/Belgian Pilsener malt 1.5 lb (0.68 kg) 16% German/Belgian Munich malt 1.0 lb (0.45 kg) 11% pale crystal malt.

Page 82: Summer Ale all-grain recipe percentages should be: 56% Maris Otter; 28% Pilsener; 9% malted wheat; 7% piloncillo, demerara or similar unrefined sugar.

Page 83: Summer Ale all-grain recipe percentages should be: 60% Maris Otter; 20% Pilsener; 10% malted wheat, 10% piloncillo, demerara or similar unrefined sugar.

Page 88: India Red Ale all-grain recipe percentages should be: 50% pale ale; 39% Munich malt; 6% medium crystal; 4% dark crystal; 1% black patent

Page 89: Jaggery Pale Ale recipe: 90 min Northdown (5% AA) Should be 64 g, not 0.64g.

Page 89: Belgian-American IPA recipe should include: add the peel of one-half to one grapefruit, well-scrubbed and peeled with a potato peeler, then added to the kettle at the end of the boil.

Page 90: Jaggery IPA text should read: "Here, 17 percent of the recipe is jaggery."

Page 90: Hinky Dink India Cream Ale all-grain recipe: 0.9 kg Munich malt (not 0.09). Extract + mini-mash recipe percentages should be 75% pale dry extract; 25% pale crystal.

Page 91: Vatted Stale IPA all-grain recipe: 0.9 kg biscuit/amber (not 0.09).

Page 93: Old Nut Case Brown Ale all-grain recipe percentages should be: 65% mild ale malt; 31% biscuit/amber; 4% brown ale malt.

Page 95: Stout Butt Beer: The wrong recipe got plugged-in here, although the stats are correct. The following all-grain recipe is correct (there is no comparable extract recipe):

15 lbs (7.3 kg) 86% brown malt

2.5 lbs (0.9 kg) 14% 6-row lager malt


3 oz (85 g) Fuggle 90 min (5% AA)

2 oz (85 g) Fuggle 15 min (5% AA)

There may be some confusion as to the reference on aging per the Vatted Stale IPA recipe. Follow the directions in the text on page 91 for brettanomyces and/or oak-aging.

Page 96: 1776 Porter. Someone had a question about the use of both brewers' licorice and ground licorice root. I picked this up from an old recipe. I'm not sure why they did it this way; sometimes you just have to go with the traditions and see what happens.

Page 99: Modern British Mild all-grain recipe percentages should be: 80% British pale ale; 14.5% very dark (140L) crystal (others OK).

Page 100: Modern American 'Robust' Porter all-grain recipe percentages should be: 63% pale ale; 20% Munich; 13% medium (40L) crystal; 4% black patent. Extract + mini-mash recipe precentages should be: 77% amber dry extract; 18% medium (40L) crystal; 5% black patent.

Page 101: Fundamental Stout extract + mini-mash recipe percentages should be: 74% amber dry extract; 13% black patent; 13% dark crystal.

Page 111: Monk-y Business Munich Dunkel extract + mini-mash recipe percentages should be: 66% amber dry extract; 17% aromatic (dark Munich); 17% medium crystal.

Page 113: Doktor Schnurrbart Schwarzbier all-grain recipe percentages should be: 86% Munich malt; 9.5% pale or Pilsener; 4.5% Carafa II roast malt.

Page 114: Schwarzbock: The text that says "I would take the grist bill above and add..." refers to the Doktor Schnurrbart Schwarzbier recipe. on p. 113.

Page 117: Yellow Diamond Belgian Pale Ale extract + mini-mash recipe: second ingredient should be amber dry malt extract. Percentages should be: 40.5% pale dry extract; 20% amber extract (the rest work out to 13.6% aromatic; 5% medium crystal; 20% piloncillo).

Page 119: Fallen Angel Strong Pale all-grain recipe percentages should be: 86% Pilsener malt; 14% corn sugar. Extract recipe percentages should be: 87% pale dry extract; 13% corn sugar

Page 121: Saisoon Bufoon recipe: Second hop addition should be Saaz.

Page 132: Dragon's Milk October Beer recipe: malt quantity should be 15.5lb (100%) Maris Otter pale malt.

Page 139: Adjunct mash chart: The line indicating the protein rest temperature is displaced. It should be located at 122°F, which agrees with the text.

Page 187: Nirvana Chanterelle Ale recipe: A small paragraph was omitted, which should read "Take 1/2 lb of fresh chopped chanterelle mushrooms and soak in enough vodka to cover for a week or two, then strain through a coffee filter. Discard the spent shrooms. Once the ale is ready for kegging or bottling, add the chanterelle extraction and proceed as normal."

Page 203: Hop God Ale recipe: Color should be deep amber, not inky black; second addition of crystal should be medium/dark/60 degrees L.

Page 205: Adjunct mash chart: The line indicating the protein rest temperature is displaced. It should be located at 122°F, which agrees with the text.

Page 222: My deepest apologies to Homebrew Goddess Kate Gaiser, for misspelling her name here.

Thanks to:

Tom Schmidlin for a sharp eye and a quick hand with a calculator. Also to David Hoelscher, Zemo Holat, Jeff Renner and many others across the world who emailed with their observations and suggestions.


Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Brewers Publications (May 6, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0937381837
ISBN-13: 978-0937381830
Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

Available in English-language only at the present time, but I hear it has become an underground classic in Germany. If you are a foreign publisher interested in the rights for a particular edition, please contact the publisher, or get in touch with us and we will connect you with the appropriate person.